Why People Buy

“People buy based on emotion and rationalize their decisions based on facts.” This is a common quote you will hear from most sales trainers, or you will read it in most sales improvement books. It’s true. If you don’t embrace this philosophy in your business and sales process you will not reach your potential in sales and profit. 

Think about how people make decisions. Some of them not even buying type decisions. We all know or knew someone who has smoked before. I used to be one of them although I quit more than 25 year ago. There are all the facts in the world that say smoking is not good for you. The odds of you contracting cancer or some other related disease is very high if you smoke. And yet people continue to smoke. Then the day comes when the doctor says you only have X amount of time to live if you continue this behavior. All of a sudden that fear, a strong emotion, causes them to decide to make changes. Some of you may be saying, “yeah, but smoking is a physical addition, that’s different.” Well, consider this simple decision making process. You are driving on a pleasant Saturday afternoon and you notice you’re low on gas. You need to stop but you think about where you should go. You ask yourself where the best price is and the closest place to where you’re headed. Now compare your thought process to the same scenario of driving except now it’s Saturday late at night. All by yourself on a dark road. You are on your way home. You’re pretty sure but not exactly confident on how to get home. You now notice you are low on gas. Do you think about price? Do you care where the next gas station is? No you don’t. You are ready to buy now no matter what. Why? Because your emotional state is quite different than in the first scenario.

Now think about what you are selling. In most business to business situations you are probably selling solutions to problems. And when you meet your prospect you always point out to them all the problems they have and all the solutions you have. It’s so obvious to you that they should buy your service it’s almost funny. And yet they say, “I have to think about it.” Or they question your pricing. Or they want to compare you to your competition. Or they want to talk to their partner, spouse, friend, neighbor or dog before they make a decision. 

What is missing? Why won’t they buy? In my opinion there are two reasons. One could be that maybe they just don’t like you. I look at this as a prerequisite in the sales process. You have to present yourself as professional, honest, and basically as likable as possible. If you look or act like an ass they are simply not going to do business with you. I’ll assume that most of you reading this comply with this prerequisite and don’t look or act like an ass. Therefore, the only thing left is you haven’t tapped into their emotion. You haven’t asked the right questions that demonstrate to them if they don’t make a move there are consequences. And even if there are consequences you haven’t given them the feeling of what those consequences will mean. Notice I said ask the right questions. You have to ask questions so the prospect tells you what the consequences are. Not you stating to them what they are. This takes practice but if perfected it can make all the difference in the world.

Here’s an example. Let’s suppose you sell something that saves people money. Salesperson A goes about it this way. “We have determined that our average client produces 1000 of these per month and we can save them $1.00 per transaction. Therefore, on average, we save our clients $1000 per month. That comes to $12,000 per year. Would that be something you’d be interested in?” Prospect then says, “I’ll think about it.”  Salesperson B tries a different approach. “We have determined we can save you about $1.00 per transaction. Tell me, how many transactions do you process a month?” Prospect – “About 1000.” Salesperson - “I don’t have a calculator, what does that come to per month?” Prospect – “1000 dollars.” Salesperson – “while you have your calculator out how much is that per year?” Prospect – “that comes to 12,000 dollars per year.” Salesperson – “and how many years have you been doing it this way?” Prospect – “4 years.”  Salesperson – “and that comes to what?” Prospect “48,000 dollars.” Salesperson – “so based on what YOU calculated, with our solution you could have saved 48,000 dollars, is that right? What would you do if you had that extra money?” Prospect “I could afford to buy X.” Salesperson – “really, how would that make you feel if we can get you X?” Prospect answers.  “That’s fantastic…is this something you’d want to pursue?” I could go on but I think you get the point.  This was done through the line of questions. Salesperson B did not tell the prospect anything.  The prospect not only calculated the savings but stated what they would do with the money and how it would make them feel if they had it.  The prospect is thinking about buying X (and feeling what it is like to do so), not spending money to buy salesperson B’s solution.

So think about how you can do this with your business. How can you tap into your prospect’s emotion so they jump at the chance to do business with you. Your closure rate should sky rocket with this approach. Don’t forget, dig deep with questions, bring out the emotion and get your prospects to tell you why they will buy.